10 Ways to Make Spring Cleaning Fun for Kids

How to get your kids to enjoy spring cleaning. Yes, it is possible!

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Spring Cleaning Doesn’t Have to Feel Like a Chore

Spring cleaning can be a daunting task, but kids can make it a whole other ballgame. For such little people, their stuff can take up a lot of space and they go through it so quickly! The good news is that kids can also be great helpers as long as you make it fun. Here are 10 ways to do just that.

Label, label, label

Organizing expert Lauren Tenenbaum of Leave That for Lauren likes things as neat and tidy as possible, but one place she loosen up a bit is with labels. She lets her kids pick out the labels that work for them, whether they are circles or rectangles.

“My daughter may spell Clothes as ‘CLOSE’ [on the label], but at least she knows where to put her doll’s clothes, and it’s easy to slap a new label over as they get older and their toys change.”

Find Toys that Spark Joy

Who says your kids can’t channel their inner Marie Kondo? Every kid has toys that they play with regularly but there may be others that don’t see as much floor time. A favorite T-shirt may have a stain, or a stuffed animal could be falling apart; regardless, you’ll be tempted to throw out something your kid may really love. To avoid this, have your little one make a pile of toys that sparks love in them, even if it doesn’t necessarily do so in you.

Swap the Old for the New

Tenenbaum encourages her kids to get rid of old toys before they buy anything new. She makes it a game, having her 10-year-old find 10 things to give away in exchange for a new toy. For younger kids, less things, such as 4 for a 4-year-old, works better.

Party on with Clean Up Games

Why not make cleaning fun? Kids love competitions and games, so get creative. Time to see how fast your kids can bag-up old dolls or sort through old Legos. Turn on music and jam out while you clean, adding in a few freeze dances here and there. Give them a goal to strive toward – maybe a pizza dinner after cleaning or a special dessert.

Time Limit

Kids are kids and they get distracted easily. Tenenbaum encourages families to complete spring cleaning in bite-sized chunks of time. Older kids can generally last as long as 45 minutes, but it may be much less for younger ones. Try doing 30 minutes of cleaning and 30 minutes of playing for every hour.

Rotate Toys

This may not help you get rid of stuff right away, but rotating toys in and out can keep your kids excited about what they have and subsequently reveals which choices fall to the wayside. The latter will be easier to donate when the time comes.

Have a Gratitude Attitude

Kids can be super giving little beings when they understand that there are families out there who don’t have as much as they do. As a family, it’s a great idea to pick a charity or even adopt-a-family around the holidays and teach your kids about giving back. Do your research, find a few organizations that take baby, toy or kids supplies donations and have your child pick one whose mission they like. Then have your kids put together a pile of toys that are still in good condition and give them to a meaningful charity.


With so many cute organizing bins, boxes and bags out there, it’s easy to find something that your kid will get excited about putting their stuff in and nothing has to be overly expensive. Try letting your child decide how they will keep things organized and watch as the responsibility feeds into excitement.

From Start to Finish

Keep your kids involved from beginning to end. Have them sort toys and bag them up. They can clean around the area that they remove stuff from, help load items into the car and accompany you to the donation center.

“It’s a good lesson for them to see people who are grateful for their things,” Tenenbaum said.

Banish Broken Toys

The easiest toys for kids to get rid of? Those that are broken. Put those little hands to work, tasking them with finding missing pieces to puzzles or broken action figures. Anything that is “out of order” should be bagged up and thrown out.

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